Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your newborn and create a unique bond. It requires exercise and at first can be painful, especially if the baby does not grasp the breast properly.
Breastfeeding offers many benefits to mother and child. In fact, breastfeeding is the most natural way for you to feed your child. Your body was designed to provide your child with a perfect source of nutrition.
A woman’s decision to breastfeed or not to breastfeed is a personal one. Breastfeeding has many benefits, but there are also disadvantages. In this article, you will find out the pros and cons of breastfeeding and also how to get started.
How long should I breastfeed in one sitting?
When you become a mother for the first time, the sessions may seem quite long, but it is important that your child is able to eat at the right pace. Most sessions last an average of 20-30 minutes.
Keep an eye on your child to understand when to stop:
- When they are completely released
- When they start slowing down sucking/swallowing
In most cases, the baby falls asleep after feeding. You don’t need to worry too much about creating a baby feeding plan. Feed your baby as much as he/she wants for the first few months.
While there is no specific rule, you will soon be able to recognize the signs that mean your baby is hungry. For example:
- Baby starts sucking his/her fist
- Baby opens his/her mouth and looks around expectantly
Let the baby suck for as long as he/she wants. Make sure you have completely emptied one breast before moving on to the other. Remember that a breastfed baby cannot be overfed.
Pumping and storage of breast milk
Pumping out breast milk may be necessary if you need to be away from your baby for a while or if you go back to work but want to continue breastfeeding.
Whatever method you use to pump milk out, it is important to make sure your hands are clean and that all bottles, containers and parts of the pump are washed and sterilized. Before you start pumping, massage your breasts to help the milk flow.
Pumping can provide great benefits for the mother, including getting a break from breastfeeding, maintaining a supply of milk, relieving breast swelling, and allowing to stock up on breast milk in case of emergencies.
You can pump it whenever it suits you, although morning is a great time because your breasts are usually full of milk.
The breast pump can also be used while your baby is eating. A baby on one chest and a pump on the other is a very good combo. Be comfortable and relaxed when pumping. Allow 20-30 minutes for each pumping session.
Once you have pumped out your breast milk, you need to find a place to store your milk, such as a plastic bag or bottle. If you wish to freeze breast milk in up to 150 ml portions for later thawing, label each bag with a date. Breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five days at or below 4° C or in the ice compartment of the refrigerator for up to two weeks and in the freezer for up to six months.
Pros vs Cons
Pros of breastfeeding:
- It’s the healthiest food for your child – There are many health and developmental benefits to breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk is packed with natural ingredients that protect your infant from illnesses and disease during infancy. It’s also easy to digest.
- Babies like the taste of it – Breast milk has a creamy flavor and is much sweeter and creamier than formula.
- Breastfeeding is good for your health – Women who breastfeed their babies tend to recover from childbirth faster than those who don’t. Breastfeeding may lower your risk of ovarian and breast cancer. Additionally, it may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension.
- Convenience – There’s no need to prepare and heat formula, and there are no bottles to clean up after feedings.
- Economical – You can save thousands of dollars by breastfeeding. You won’t need to buy formula, bottles, or supplies if you solely breastfeed your child.
- Nighttime feedings are faster and easier – Breastfeeding eliminates the need to warm bottles in the middle of the night.
Cons of breastfeeding:
- Less freedom – You are always on call when you breastfeed. Every feeding, day or night, you and your breasts must be available. It can be exhausting, especially in the first few weeks when you are breastfeeding your infant every two to three hours all day.
- It can be painful – You might have to deal with some of the unpleasant or even painful side effects of breastfeeding. Mastitis, breast engorgement, clogged milk ducts, and aching nipples are examples of these.
- Your partner can’t feed the baby – Only you can feed the baby unless you will pump milk in advance.
- It might be difficult in the beginning – Not every baby latches on right away, and not every baby breastfeeds properly. Breastfeeding may be more difficult than you imagine, leaving you disappointed or discouraged.
- It requires healthy lifestyle choices – When you breastfeed, you must consider your diet and lifestyle. Specific products in your diet may cause your infant to have an allergic reaction. As a result, you may have to give up dairy products or other foods that you enjoy.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to breastfeeding. Although some women want to breastfeed exclusively, it is not the only choice. Some mothers breastfeed only partially, others mix breastfeeding and formula feeding. If you decide to feed your baby formula along with breastfeeding, we recommend using only organic and well-known formula brands such as HiPP formula.